We listen to music every day whether we intend to or not. It’s everywhere. But how much do we actually know about music? Where it came from? How did it develop? We can appreciate music so much more if we take a deeper dive into how it came to be.
The History of Music
In the Origin of Music Wallin, N., Merker, B. and Brown, S suppose that music has had to have been around for at least 55,000 years, since before the dispersal of humans around the world. Mind-blowing, right? Early music is called primitive music and not much is known about it. This is in the “preliterate” time before writing existed. Which makes it quite difficult to learn anything about it.
“Ancient music” is the name given to the period after writing began. It was written in cuneiform and finally deciphered by Anne Draffkorn Kilmer. Ancient music was developed over Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. Music was a major part of Egyptian culture. They believed that music came from one of their gods. Organizations have attempted to revitalize Egyptian instruments, but no one has been able to succeed. Believe it or not, this period was the birth of bagpipes. Music began to develop with harmonies and simple instruments all over the world.
Early music began after the fall of the Roman empire and was impressively diverse and cultural. Europe developed many musical traditions, about which is still mysterious today. If you took music history or music appreciation in school, you might start to remember music from this period including the baroque style.
From the renaissance to the classical period, music began to evolve into what it is today.
Music and Technology
It was only a matter of time until the technological advances of the 20th century impacted the world of music. I’m sure we can all name numerous devices inspired by the love of music.
Today, most pop music is written, recorded, produced, broadcast and consumed all on computers. Software like Avid Pro Tools or Apple’s Logic Pro enable anyone to simultaneously edit more than 100 audio tracks, adjust pitch and timing and add an unlimited variety of effects. This technology also allows more people to enter the music industry. While some people think that people who use this technology don’t belong in the music industry, others argue that many of the amazing artists we have today wouldn’t be here without it. Technology has a place on stage too. Even if a band has a traditional guitar-bass-drums setup, they might rely on small in-ear monitors, running on a separate frequency from a digitised sound module (theguardian.com).
I don’t think anyone can forget the music technology that brought us the autotuned voices of Ke$ha and T-Pain. Pop music in particular, is full of this technology. While many speculate that the man who created auto-tune hated music, the truth couldn’t be further. Dr. Andy Hildebrand or Dr. Andy, is a classically trained flautist who never even listened to rock music. He started his career working with software in the oil industry and figured out that you could also use it for pitch correction--and so, autotune was born (theverge.com).`
Many people are concerned that technology like this hinders the authenticity of music. What’s your take? Let us know in the comment section below
In interviews, Dr. Andy handles the question of “is Auto-Tune evil?” with characteristic wit. His stock answer is, “My wife wears makeup, does that make her evil?”
Of course, wearable technology was quick to embrace music. Out of these inventions, the Helix Cuff stands out. The Helix Cuff is the first wearable with built-in Bluetooth headphones. Helix Cuff audio technology is state-of-the-art. It was created to give music listeners the sound quality they love in an easy to wear cuff.
Google has created an incredibly cool way to use technology to track music popularity. Their system has recorded uploads from Google Play Music to track the evolution of music. Overall, it appears that pop music and rock music have been the most popular over time. Queen was one of the most popular artists of the 70's (no surprise there). With Michael Jackson taking the reign of the 80's. Finally in recent times, Maroon 5 has taken over. Take a look yourself to see what the most popular music of the year is according to Google’s Music Timeline. Can Google really be wrong?
Most of the innovations in music and technology have happened just this century. Surely, the next decade will bring many, many more. It’s exciting to think about the amazing things that could be just around the corner.
What will be the next technology to impact the music industry? Only time will tell. Let us know what you think in the comments below.